So, here we are at my favorite time in the NFL season. No, not the playoffs, although that is exciting, especially Whiney Tom Terrific is out of the picture and possibly out of New England, although I’ll believe that when I see it. So, my favorite time of the NFL year is the offseason. I know that sounds oddball and counterintuitive, but hear me out.
Yeah, I love the games. I love watching NFL games even when I can’t stand the teams. Cowboys vs. Redskins? Yeah, I watch that. Browns vs. Bengals? Yeah, I watch that. Panthers vs. anyone? Yeah, I watch that, too. I love NFL games. But, what really gets me going is the “behind the scenes” and sometimes even non-so-behind-the-scenes activity. You know the Monday after the regular season, and sometimes that Sunday night, some coach is going to be fired. It happens almost every year. And you can almost predict which ones with near accuracy.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like people losing their jobs but this is a business and big money at that. The goal is to win, not just contend. So, no, I do feel for those losing their jobs but let’s move on already.
The past offseason we saw seven new head coaching jobs. Adam Gase in New York, Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, Zac Taylor in Cincinnati, Vic Fangio in Denver, Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, Matt LeFleur in Green Bay, Brian Flores in Miami and Bruce Ariens in Tampa Bay. All of them had been either head coaches or assistant coaches of some sort.
On to this year… Of that crowd, Adam Gase is on thin ice and Kitchens is already out in Cleveland, as of last Sunday. Ron Rivera was out in Carolina and Jay Gruden out of Washington with a few weeks left in the season. Pat Shurmur was the coach for two years for the Giants and was fired last Monday. Jason Garrett who had been the Cowboys’ head coach for 10 years was fired and the next morning it was announced that former Green Bay HC Mike McCarthy was the new coach in Big D. McCarthy has won a Super Bowl.
Rivera is now the coach of the Redskins and like with McCarthy, we’ll see if their owners can let them run the team or stay hands-on and make their jobs even more difficult. The Panthers haven’t yet filled their vacancy and neither has the giants.
And, it’s not just the head coaches, either. Many assistant coaches are making moves, either by choice or not. Vagabond Wade Phillips, who most recently was the defensive coordinator for the LA Rams was let go this morning. Former head coach of the 49ers, Mike Nolan will be the DC for McCarthy in Dallas. These are just the big names that I’m seeing.
And, let’s not forget GMs. Bruce Allen out in Washington and John Dorsey out in Cleveland. Who knows who’s next.
Then there are the players, old and new. Ones that were out from surgery, are they coming back? Who will be traded? Who will be cut? Who will retire? Who will be drafted? Who will move via free agency that starts March 18?
I don’t watch a lot of college football, but I like to keep track of the names and see where they may end up come April in the draft.
There is a lot of speculation about Tom Brady’s future. He voided any contract extensions, he put his house up for sale (as did his personal trainer), he can’t be tagged as “franchise” to keep him there. Do I see him in another uniform? I don’t really know. He has said that he wanted to play until he’s 45 but he looked all of 40 (he’s 42) whereas he looked like he was 35 last year. Sure, he doesn’t have all the personnel around him. Gronk retired (thank any deity here) and the only thing he really has going for him, with any experience, is Julian Edelman. He didn’t look right all season either. I hope Brady retires. Move on, let someone else dominate. Watson, Wilson, Jackson, Josh Allen, Mahomes (my fave of the bunch), who knows, but let someone have the spotlight. Your age is showing.
Anywhat! I just wanted to mention how much I love this part. I love free agency. I love trades. I love the personnel changes. I love the draft. I love the NFL. The games are pretty good, too.
Until tomorrow… hike!
“Though the loss wasn’t entirely the fault of Brady’s, there was reason — including his career-worst marks in key passing categories down the stretch — for folks to view his play and wonder if Father Time might finally be catching up to him.” – Nick Shook on Tom Brady and the Patriots’ loss this past Saturday